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  • Writer's pictureRhonda Helgesen

April ~ A Note From Jake's Mom

April is Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month! This is a month that means a lot to me as the parent of an autistic adult. Twenty-eight years ago, as my happy baby boy began to fade away, the process of getting answers was incredibly frustrating. When a diagnosis of autism was finally made, I honestly had no idea what life had in store for us.

It was a rather isolating period as a parent due to an overall, societal lack of familiarity with autism spectrum disorders. Since that time, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of children diagnosed, and almost everyone knows of someone on the spectrum. This awareness is the first step. It's the familiarity that leads one to acceptance, understanding, and inclusion.

The month of April also highlights some debate over the "best" symbols, colors, and verbiage to use regarding autism. ACES has elected to incorporate the puzzle piece into our logos. We appreciate that this a commonly recognized emblem of autism and focus on its positive components.

The puzzle pattern reflects the complexity of autism.

The various shapes and colors represent the diversity of individuals living on the spectrum.

The brightness of the symbol's colors indicate the hope that access to appropriate services and support will equip individuals with autism to lead fulfilling lives and maximize their potential.

Twenty-eight years ago the puzzle piece displayed by others let me know my family was not alone and it continues to provide a sense of comfort and connection.

Awareness is the first step. Acceptance is the rest of the journey.

Thank you for joining All-In Charitable Events & Services as we travel this path to make a positive difference in our community.

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